Stark message for parties in green report

A coalition of nine leading environmental charities has produced a report rating each of the UK's three main political parties on their environmental credentials ahead of the party conference season.

The report, How Green Are Our Parties? The Green Standard Report, bases its assessment on criteria developed earlier this year by the coalition, which consists of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, Friends of the Earth, the Green Alliance, Greenpeace, the National Trust, the RSPB, The Wildlife Trusts, the Woodland Trust and WWF-UK.

It finds that none of the parties has yet implemented policies and action “on the scale required to meet the range and urgency of the environmental threats we face”. It rates the Liberal Democrats most highly, but describes the gap between Conservative aspirations and policy commitments as “stark”.

Green Alliance director Stephen Hale said the charities were disappointed by the findings. “The environmental ambitions of the parties are very welcome, but the environmental beauty contest between them has, to date, been characterised by too much spin.”

A spokeswoman for the Charity Commission said there was nothing in charity law to prevent charities from trying to influence the policies of political parties in the interests of their beneficiaries.

“As long as the trustees of these charities are confident that this activity furthers the objects, then this is perfectly legitimate activity for them to engage in,” she said.

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